When Nakba of Palestinians is your muttered policy– when you realize you may have to carry out another ethnic cleansing, as the Israeli right believes– it’s silly to moan about Nazis somewhere else. After all, you’re holding a very similar policy, and they’re likely to be your only allies. Yossi Gurvitz explains Netanyahu’s silence about Charlottesville.
Category Archives: Middle East
Israeli-American Ronit Dinson makes the decision to leave Tel Aviv and return to the U.S., “Am I coward for saying “khalas” (Arabic for “enough”), I want out of here? Or, are there just too many avenues that have dead-ended here in Israel? I want the same thing that all Israeli Jews, Arabs, and asylum seekers want, to live in peace with my family and for my future children to have equal opportunities. I don’t see this happening here in Israel unless the apartheid structure finally ends and all people have equal rights, regardless of their nationality, race, or religion.”
Yossi Gurvitz wrote that when American Jews seek to influence Israel as Jews they are reinforcing the illiberal ethnocratic nature of the state. Jonathan Ofir disagrees and says it is possible to engage with Israel as both Jewish and a liberal.
A play in Washington based on the testimonies of Israeli soldiers in the peace group Breaking the Silence demonstrates that the occupation is now a permanent feature of Israeli society. Israel now claims not to be an occupier; and world governments often support it, because there is a Palestine Exception to international law. But a peaceful resolution will not occur till Israel dismantles this oppressive regime, argues Zeina Azzam.
Many have appraised Israel’s 1967 occupation as ‘Apartheid’. But it goes beyond 1967, and beyond Apartheid, to genocidal actions over 7 decades of the state’s existence. The actions are so egregious that many can hardly fathom them, and so they recoil to an apologetics that amounts to: “Don’t exaggerate.”
Last night heavily armed Israeli forces raided the home of Palestinian activist Badee Dwaik and attacked him, because Dwaik was planning to go to nonviolent protests today in the villages of Khurssa and Dura outside Hebron. Where is the U.S. outrage against the treatment of nonviolent Palestinian activists by our closest ally?
On the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’av, a former Israeli combat officer says that world Jewry united behind Israel during the Gaza war of 2014: “We saw the beauty in each other, we understood: we are a family.” But that war was a massacre of Palestinian civilians, including 500 children. Religious nationalism is a dangerous belief system.
Marc Ellis writes, “Tisha B’Av is upon us, a fast day for Jews, commemorating the destruction of the ancient Temples in Jerusalem. With the accumulation of events of destruction in Jewish history, though, Tisha B’Av has become a time to mourn subsequent calamities that befell the Jewish people. Through most of our history, mourning occurred in a context where most Jews lived on the margins of power or suffered under it. Today Jewish mourning takes place within the context of Jewish empowerment. Like mourning, Jewish empowerment is complex and entangled. Still, one things is abundantly clear: Jewish power, enabled by our mourning on Tisha B’Av, is oppressing the Palestinian people.”
American educator Solomon Schecter accepted Zionism as a bulwark against Jewish assimilation in the west. The twin menaces were acceptance of Jews and hostility toward them. Zionism still serves this purpose. The Israeli State ensures that its Jewish citizens are “safely hated.”
With Tisha B’Av upon us, Rabbi Brant Rosen has released his contemporary take on the Biblical Book of Lamentations – Lamentation for a New Diaspora. Marc Ellis writes, “Rabbi Rosen’s lamentation is poetic, strong and dark. Trauma is the global name of the game. The ravages of mass culture, industrialization, militarism and climate change have taken their toll. The New Diaspora, the community of refugees and exiles of every stripe who gather to protest the coming global catastrophe, are themselves scattered and without hope.”
When American Jews take a position on Israel based on it calling itself a Jewish state, they are playing Israel’s game: claiming Jews are a nation, and therefore that their voice counts more than non-Jews who live in Israel, giving strength to illiberal forces in that land. American Jews should express themselves as liberals, and form coalitions of others in and out of Israel on that basis.
Part two in a series where Dr. Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi examines a federal complaint filed against her, the California State University Board of Trustees, and the San Francisco State University by the Lawfare Project, a self-described “legal arm for the pro-Israel community” whose executive director affirmed that its objective is to “make the enemy pay.”
Israel’s top diplomat, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli waves the bible and an empty book of Palestinian history at Palestinian-Israeli Members of Knesset and tells them they don’t exist, and then says they are trying to Islamicize the holy sites and eradicate the Jewish connection to them.
In predicting that France would succumb to Sharia law by 2022, novelist Michel Houellebecq made the mistake of predicting events in 2017. They have already proven completely wrong, thereby undermining his warnings about the dangers of leftwing political correctness.
Lydia Noon reports from the Palestine Expo in London. Even though Britain’s Israel lobby tried to ban the event it still attracted some 16,000 people over two days.
The Church around the world has failed the Palestinian church. Year after year of soft solidarity has failed to improve Palestinian conditions. No calling out of who has the power, who remains silent. Solidarity must become stronger, and church groups must be willing to fall out with Jewish friends.
Jonathan Cook finds contemporary parallels to interventionist wars in the hit film ‘Wonder Woman’: “this much-praised Gil Gadot vehicle–seemingly about a peace-loving superhero, Wonder Woman, from the DC Comics stable–is actually carefully purposed propaganda designed to force-feed aggressive western military intervention, dressed up as humanitarianism, to unsuspecting audiences.”
Kim Jensen reviews “We Will Not Be Silenced: The Academic Repression of Israel’s Critics,” Edited by William I. Robinson and Maryam S. Griffin, a collection of essays about censorship and the pro-Israel lobby sweeping across U.S. campuses.
Israeli security services responded to Palestinian knife attacks by surveilling social media and using an algorithm to predict who will commit violence. On this basis more than 400 Palestinians have been detained without having committed any criminal act.
The U.S. is fighting ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and the Taliban around the Middle East while continuing to water their roots.
Ahmad Kabariti reports from Gaza on how the unfolding crisis in the Gulf around Qatar could move Hamas closer to Iran, or cripple the group in its power struggle with the Palestinian Authority.
Ismail Zeyada, a Dutch citizen of Palestinian origin, has started a civil lawsuit holding two Israeli commanders responsible for the attack at his family home in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Six of Ziada’s family members were killed in the July 2014 attack: his mother (70), three of his brothers, his sister-in-law and a 12-year old nephew. Zeyada’s attorney, well-known human rights lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, says, “You can’t bomb a house inhabited by civilians. Deliberately killing six of them, without necessity, is considered a war crime.”
Iran today is not a unified, expansionist juggernaut, but an increasingly corrupt, discredited regime that faces rising opposition. But U.S. policy reflects the Israeli and Saudi claim that Iran is supposedly unified, powerful and expanding, so it must be confronted everywhere.
On June 10, leading anti-Muslim organization ACT for America, whose founder, Brigitte Gabriel once described Muslims as being a “natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western society”, initiated a nationwide ‘rally against Sharia law’. Most anti-Sharia protesters were met with fierce opposition, but further organized action will be required to squash the violent surge of anti-Muslim sentiment that’s grown ever more ominous since the election of Donald Trump.
“I grew up imagining that all the children in the world grew up having a similar a type of life,” Yazan Meqbil, a biochemistry student in the U.S. who grew up in occupied Palestine, seeing the killings of two close friends, tells a packed hearing room on Capitol Hill.